The following information is a new requirement (as of 2016) for beekeepers in the state of Oregon with 5 or more hives. Please note it does not replace or change Portland’s permit process.
Any beekeeper; whether backyard, hobbyist or commercial; who had 5 or more hives (not including nucs) during the previous (last) year is now required to register with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). This is the result of House Bill 3362 which modified Oregon Revised Statute(ORS) 602 and the subsequent adoption of Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 603-055 by the ODA. The registration fee is $10 ($20 after July 1) and 50 cents per hive. The registration is for one year and must be made each year if the beekeeper had five or more hives during the previous year. The registration runs from June 1 to May 31.
Previously only those beekeepers engaged in commercial pollination were required to register and the moneys collected by the ODA went into the agency’s general operating budget. The new law and rules make it clear that the monies from the new registration fees “shall be spent on pollinator research that is predominantly focused on honey bees.” The ODA agreed with the OSBA that most (all) of the collected monies will go to the Oregon State University (OSU) Bee Laboratory and the ODA will not use any of the monies for their administrative costs. Members of the OSBA met with the ODA and requested that specific language for our agreement be included in the OAR. The DOA proposed the addition, but the Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney assigned to the ODA said the agency did not have the authority to include it in the OAR. Nonetheless, the ODA said it will honor the agreement and look to adding the language to the ORS in the future.
It should be noted that the ODA not only will not receive any monies for administrative costs but also there will be no monies for enforcement (at least at the present time). This does not mean you should ignore the law as it is a legal requirement and there are benefits to registering. Registering might serve to strengthen your position as a responsible beekeeper should a legal issue arise. In addition, you will receive notifications from the ODA on matters relating to beekeeping, such as the registration of a new Varroa mite control and the monies will go to OSU for research on honey bees.
You may register on-line or by mail by going to the Apiary Registration page and filling out on line or downloading the application form. You may also request a hard copy by calling the ODA, Insect Pest Prevention and Management Program at 503-986-4636.
When counting the maximum number of hives (not including nucs) that you had, you look to the previous or last year when registering your hives and as of now, that period ran from June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016. The registration year is not the same as the calendar year because the registration year begins on June 1 of the current year and runs until May 31 of the next year. The registration year was chosen to better accommodate commercial beekeepers who may not know the maximum hives they have until the following spring.